Sadly, this is a far more profound symbolic critique of Roman Catholic oppression than anything FEMEN is ever likely to pull off (notwithstanding their tops)!
L’Age d’or or The Golden Age (1930), directed by Luis Buñuel, a French surrealist comedy, and one of the first films with synchronous sound ever made in France, was about the insanities of modern life, the hypocrisy of the sexual mores of bourgeois society and the value system of the Roman Catholic Church. Salvador Dalí and Buñuel wrote the screenplay together.
The BBC called it “an exhilarating, irrational masterpiece of censor-baiting chutzpah.”
Regarding the response of the establishment to the film, from Wikipedia:
Upon receiving a cinematic exhibition permit from the Board of Censors, L’Âge d’or had its premiere presentation at Studio 28, Paris, on 29 November 1930. Later, on 3 December 1930, the great popular success of the film provoked attacks by the right-wing Ligue des Patriotes (League of Patriots), whose angry viewers took umbrage at the story told by Buñuel and Dalí. The reactionary French Patriots interrupted the screening by throwing ink at the cinema screen and assaulting viewers who opposed them; they then went to the lobby and destroyed art works by Dalí, Joan Miró, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy, and others. On 10 December 1930, the Prefect of Police of Paris, Jean Chiappe, arranged to have the film banned from further public exhibition after the Board of Censors re-reviewed the film.
A contemporary right-wing Spanish newspaper published a condemnation of the film and of Buñuel and Dalí, which described the content of the film as “…the most repulsive corruption of our age … the new poison which Judaism, Masonry, and rabid, revolutionary sectarianism want to use in order to corrupt the people”. In response, the de Noailles family withdrew L’Âge d’or from commercial distribution and public exhibition for more than forty years; nonetheless, three years later, in 1933, the film was privately exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City. Forty-nine years later, from 1-15 November 1979, the film had its legal U.S. premiere at the Roxie Cinema in San Francisco.
The film critic Robert Short said that the scalp-decorated crucifix and the scenes of socially repressive violence, wherein the love-struck protagonist is manhandled by two men, indicate that the social and psychological repression of the libido and of romantic passion and emotion, by the sexual mores of bourgeois society and by the value system of the Roman Catholic Church, breed violence in the relations among people, and violence by men against women. The opening sequence of the film alludes to that interpretation, by Dalí and Buñuel, with an excerpt from a natural science film about the scorpion, which is a predatory arthropod whose tail is composed of five prismatic articulations that culminate in a stinger with which it injects venom to the prey. Film critic Ado Kyrou said that the five vignettes in the tale of L’Âge d’Or correspond to the five sections of the tail of the scorpion.
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) is a short experimental film directed by wife and husband team, Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid. The film’s narrative is circular, and repeats a number of psychologically symbolic images, including a flower on a long driveway, a key falling, a door unlocked, a knife in a loaf of bread, a mysterious Grim Reaper-like cloaked figure with a mirror for a face, a phone off the hook and an ocean. Through creative editing, distinct camera angles, and slow motion, this surrealist film depicts a world in which it is more and more difficult to catch reality.
“This film is concerned with the interior experiences of an individual. It does not record an event which could be witnessed by other persons. Rather, it reproduces the way in which the subconscious of an individual will develop, interpret and elaborate an apparently simple and casual incident into a critical emotional experience.”
— Maya Deren on Meshes of the Afternoon, from DVD release Maya Deren: Experimental Films 1943–58.
The film was originally silent – the soundtrack, by Deren’s third husband, Teiji Ito, was only added in 1959.